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4.7 out of 5 stars
Changes - The Story Of Beryl Marsden
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£313.70+ £1.26 shipping

on 23 January 2012
If you asked most people about girl singers out of Liverpool during the Merseybeat boom, they'd think of Cilla Black. But the Cavern's ex-cloakroom attendant wasn't the only lass to make a splash. Beryl Marsden was probably a lot more popular locally and had a plucky, energetic voice closer to maybe Lulu's than Cilla's. She also looked stunning and had a tomboy-ish quality at odds with the times. Amazingly, this is her first retrospective - and it's fitting that Changes should appear on RPM, a label which boasts an exhaustive range of 60s girl CDs which is second-to-none.

In one sense, Changes is a game of two halves. The first offers Beryl's entire 60s output for Decca and Columbia, from early solo 45s (including several Motown covers and the Mod nugget 'What's She Got') to two singles with The Shotgun Express. The first was with Rod Stewart. Interestingly, she didn't actually sing on the second: the version here of 'Funny 'Cos Neither Could I' is a previously unissued early take). Also present is a lively track from Decca's At The Cavern album.

The rest of the compilation is given over to Beryl's occasional recordings since the 60s, starting with a pseudonymous 45 in the late 70s as Lynn Jackson ('Sad Songs') and the Blondie-like 'Hungry For You' through to a spate of recordings in the noughties, most of which subtly update the 60s girl group sound. The album then ends with a new acoustic performance of Bobby Darin's 'I'll Be There' (the original of which used to end proceedings at the Cavern back in the day).

While Beryl didn't boast a voice of the quality of, say, Dusty Springfield, she has a soulful quality which has been shamefully overlooked - until now. Word is that Beryl is going to busy in 2012 commemorating what is remarkably her 50th year of performing. Changes is the perfect way to start the celebrations.
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on 24 January 2012
If you had been waiting since 1963 for your finest bottle of claret to ferment, or even the best malt whisky, then to sample the results of your patience and nurturing would bring an exquisite treat. That is exactly what you are in store for when you purchase this glorious collection of music. This beautiful and talented singer has been cited as the best female vocalist to come out of Liverpool. This collection rests the case. Beryl Marsden has been making records since the age of 16 and is still performing today, as this CD verifies. The biography is in the CD booklet. The music speaks for itself, from I Know, through Everybody Loves A Lover to Break Away, these tracks ooze class and exhuberance. Then the magnificent I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Around on which she shares lead vocal with Rod Stewart demonstrates the maturity of her voice, way beyond her years. The track Hello Stranger, which she co-wrote was used in the film Another 9 1/2 Weeks. All in all, a superb body of work now available in one place. Have we heard the album of 2012 already? This will take some beating. Give yourself a treat and get this.
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on 15 July 2012
I've had her first single since 1963 and I always liked it. All my teenage days were in the sixties and I was doing exams from 1964 onwards. That's the only possible reason for somehow missing everything that came after. Beryl prefers I Know to I Only Care About You but I've never been sure. You can take some of the soul out of the song but you can't take it out of the voice. And what a voice! Barely 16 she wouldn't have been derailed by a backing group of Brenda Lee, Lulu, Rose Maddox, Wanda Jackson and Helen Shapiro.
I elbowed all the rats in the drainpipe aside when Brian Matthews said there was a new collection but it was only to get the first single on CD. But it's a great CD with the voice strong all the way to 2011. En route there are a handful of good sixties singles, a raucous Everybody Loves A Lover At The Cavern, two tracks with Shotgun Express - Rod Stewart, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood amongst others. Then a jump to 79/81 with a couple of good Blondiesqe tracks and another jump to 2007/2008 for more good songs well sung. She finishes with Bobby Darin's I'll be There, apparently a Cavern closer.
It might be irrelevant, but there's a few Face of the Sixties shots of Beryl in the Booklet and a more mature twinkly eyed Beryl on the back of the box. What a sweetie.
Do yourself a favour if you like the sixties, great female voices singing great songs, and setting the record straight. Buy this and add to Beryl's pension fund.
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on 13 February 2012
I love this CD! I was a regular at the clubs in Liverpool in the 1960s, and hearing Beryl Marsdens fantastic voice, really takes me back and I am young again! Thank you.
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on 17 April 2012
Forget about who's better - Beryl or Cilla ? They're both from the North and the similarity ends there. If this comprehensive compilation of Beryl's recorded output (mostly from the 60s) is anything to go by, she should have been up there with all the other hit making Brit girls of the era. She had a strong rocking ballsy voice and a unique sound - whether it was lack of consistent record company promotion, sometimes unsuitable production or just plain bad luck, Beryl only managed to scrape into the bottom reaches of the NME Top 30 charts (not even the official Record Mirror charts) with one single and for only one week.

Fact is, RPM has done a great job with this compilation and given Beryl and her fans a reason to celebrate. The first dozen or so songs here are quite flawless and a sad reminder of how we in the 60s had let so many of these gems slip by. My favourites among these are "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More")", "Love Is Gonna Happen To Me", "Music Talk", "Break-A-Way" and "What's She Got (That I Ain't Got). They've got "hit" written all over them so it's puzzling how they had failed to take off.

Inevitably, the quality starts to dip with the later recordings. As Lynn Jackson, "Sad Songs" is an exception - a refreshing and different style definitely worth listening to. The Shotgun Express songs suffer from inferior production values (I wonder how Rod Stewart would feel listening to them today). The 80s and later material only come across as pointless covers - who needs another version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" ? Even the super commercial and tuneful 60s styled "Too Late" and "Changes" can't disguise the fact that Beryl unfairly missed the big time in the 60s and nothing later can ever compete with her recorded legacy from that era.

"Changes - The Story of Beryl Marsden" is a must buy for fans and those who love the music of 60s girl singers. The first half alone is worth the price of the CD.
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on 29 April 2013
Wow!!!! How have I missed this Liverpool Lass. Appears to me her management missed a trick. This girl should have been a World Star. Every track is a gem. From a raw rockin teenager to a very sophisticated vocalist indeed. Am I glad I bought this CD, and I think it will be worn out in a few days. Can't really pick a top track, as I don't want to down grade anything. The booklet is like an autobiography. Brilliant!!!. Just buy this fantastic CD and you will not be sorry. As I said, How did I miss her until now I will never know.
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on 5 October 2013
Fast delivery, good value for money cd. What a great album and one that all collectors would and should have In ther collection
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on 1 November 2016
Love this cd it speaks of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Beryl Marsden has a beautiful far reaching voice and her voice and with age her voice continues to improve with a depth and timbre. Baby it's you is fantastic as is Hello Stranger and Changes. The old Shotgun Express is brilliant with her collective voice alongside Rod Stewart, Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green. Beautiful voice and amazing lady.
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on 23 February 2015
yea was much as knew it to be , an excellent singer much ignored , wonder why she was discarded by Epstein for cilla black ? he never had an ear for music only money ! beryl marsden was so much better singer , like so many who were ignored or misguided , lots of artists like this !!.
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on 13 September 2015
Beryl was an orginal merseybeat girl but was eclipsed by CILLA
Prob her main claim to fame was to become one of MARTHA REEVES vandellas on tour
this is a good cd but quite a bit of filler as her later recordings are not up to the standard of the 60s singles
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